Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up & Book Haul!!

Hey Bookworms!!

Happy Last Day of July to you!!
Can you believe this month has gone by so quickly??
I can't!!

I added a lot of great books to my collection in July, 
and managed to read a few really awesome books as well.
Keep reading to see what I've been up to this month!

 *My July Book Haul*

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Forever In Love by Susane Colasanti
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Trust by Kylie Scott
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
There's Someone in Your House (Sampler) by Stephanie Perkins
First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy
Somebody's Baby by Lurlene McDaniel
Julia Defiant by Catherine Egan

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to read any of these books yet,
but I am hoping to get to quite a few of them soon!
I'm definitely excited to read them ALL. :)
*My July Wrap Up*

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Coming up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
(not pictured)

I didn't get to read quite as many books as I had hoped this month,
but the ones I did get to read, I really enjoyed.
Now I'm really looking forward to my August TBR,
because I have SO many great books on it!
(Stop by tomorrow to check it out!)

Until next time...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Week in Review • Week 30

I'm a little late getting weekly review post up again this week,
but, again, better late than never!

I'm pretty thrilled that I actually had time to finish reading a few books this week,
and am (hopefully) starting to get back on track with my reading.

I even watched a movie this week as well, so that's something!!

Here's what I've been up to this week...

As I mentioned above, this week I finished three whole books. The first was my re-read of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. I am really enjoying rereading these books SO much, and even more so since I'm listening to the audiobooks this time around. At this rate I'll have all the series re-read by the end of the year!

I also finished reading The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. I really did not expect to enjoy this series as much as I am, but it's just as good as the Percy Jackson series, and I'm super curious to continue on with the series.

I also finally, FINALLY, read Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, and I've now officially read ALL of her books. *grin*. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm hoping to have my thoughts for it up on the blog soon!

And as I also mentioned above, I watched one movie this week. 10 Things I Hate About You is one of my most favorite movies, and I noticed that it was leaving Netflix at the end of the month, so I HAD to watch it again. It doesn't seem to matter that I have this movie in both dvd and digital format... it was leaving Netflix, so apparently I had to watch. hahaha!

I can't believe this summer has gone by so quickly. I'm not at all ready for July to end and for school to start back. But starting back it is, and soon! I am looking forward to having some quiet time, however, so I guess there is that. :)

Here's hoping for a great month in August!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #284 - Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
Love, Life, and the List
by Kasie West
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062675774

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Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

Publication is slated for winter 2018. (Goodreads)

Is Kasie West a writing machine, or what??
I haven't even had a chance to read her last book,
but I'm already excited to read the next one.
Isn't that how it always works??
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Thoughts: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero
(Heroes of Olympus #1)
by Rick Riordan
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 12th 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Pages: 557
ISBN: 9781423113393
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Mythology
Source: Own

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Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Earlier this year I started a re-readathon of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan to prepare myself to FINALLY start the Heroes of Olympus series. I've wanted to read the Heroes series for a while now, but it's been so long since I read the Percy Jackson books, that I needed to refresh my mind before starting the new series. I'm So glad that I finally had a chance to read The Lost Hero! It's a great beginning to what I know will be another awesome series.

I love the mix of characters in the story, as some were completely new to me, and some were super familiar as those that we know from the previous series. I actually really love when an old friend we know from a previous book makes an appearance in a new book. (Though one character I was looking forward to 'seeing' again the most was unfortunately absent from this novel, but I hear we will 'see' him again soon!) The new group of characters were all interesting, and I really enjoyed reading all of their stories, especially the three main characters; Jason, Piper, and Leo. I'm looking forward to following these characters throughout this series!

The storyline for the book also felt familiar, yet completely fresh as well. I love that part of the story is set at Camp Half-Blood, as that is a place that I totally wish was real, because I would definitely want to visit it. I also love that while the Percy Jackson series was about Greek Mythology, in The Lost Hero Riordan starts to introduce us to Roman Mythology, which I'm quickly becoming fascinated with as well. I can't wait to get started on the next book in the series, because I really need to know where exactly this series is going. *grin*

Overall; The Lost Hero is a great start to the Heroes of Olympus series, and I'm already hooked! I'm so glad all of the books in this series have already been published, so I can read straight through the books without having to wait for the next to be released. I'm starting the next book in the series, The Son of Neptune, as soon as possible! If you love the Percy Jackson books and haven't yet checked out this series, you should totally do so!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week in Review • Week 29

Happy Monday, Bookworms!!
I'm a bit late getting this post up, but better late than never, right?

We are finally home from our vacation,
and settling back into the real world nicely.
I didn't get much accomplished while we were away,
but here's what I was up to this past week!

Believe it or not, I only read one book while on vacation. The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon was the perfect book to read on the beach. I really enjoyed it. I do wish I had been able to read more, especially considering I took SIX books with me, but, it is what it is. :)

We only watched one movie as well while we were away, mostly because the internet on the island was SO SLOW, and just watching this movie on Netflix took forever. The Secret Life of Pets was Super cute though, and I'm glad to have finally watched it.

Also, Lori (@loriimagination) are teaming up again in August to bring you #AlltheBooksAugust, our August Bookstagram Challenge, so if you're on Instagram, we'd love for you to join us!

There's not much more to update for last week. We had a great time at the beach, and it was nice to just have free time to hang out with the family. We totally want to do it again next year!

That's all for me this week, so...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Vacation Mode: ON

Vacation mode is officially ON!!
If you need me, I'll be at the beach. :)
I'll check in as I can throughout the week,
and I'll totally miss you guys!!

Have a great week, all!!

Week in Review • Week 28

Happy Sunday, Bookworms!!
Unfortunately I don't have much to update this week,
as I've been busy cleaning and packing,
but hopefully I will have a better update next week!

Here's what little I was up to this week...

I only finished one book this past week, which was Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead. You can see my thoughts on the book here!!

Nothing to see here. Move along. *grin*
As I mentioned above, I didn't accomplish much this week, other than doing a LOT of laundry and cleaning the house. But, as of today our vacation has officially begun, and I'm so excited to have a week to relax. Here's hoping I get in a lot of reading time this week!!

That's all for me this week, so...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Thoughts: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
Midnight Jewel
(The Glittering Court #2)
by Richelle Mead
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781595148438
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical
Source: Review Copy / Own

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In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was really, really excited to finally read Midnight Jewel, as I read The Glittering Court last year, and was completely fascinated by the story. I had hoped to reread The Glittering Court again before starting Midnight Jewel, but unfortunately didn’t have time, but once I started on this story, most of the details from the book came flooding back, and I was completely able to enjoy the story.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I started reading the book, other than knowing that it was Mira’s story, and I was definitely curious about that. I think I expected this story to take place after the events of the first book, but it was actually basically the same story as the first book, just from Mira’s perspective. (I assume the storyline for the third book will be the same as well.) It was interesting to see the events from Mira’s perspective, and it seemed like we got even more of the story this time around than we did the first time, but maybe that was just me remembering things differently. I really wish I had had time to reread the first book before starting this one. Sigh.

There are a lot of characters in the book to love; some that are new to us, and some that we already know from the first book. I love Mira’s strength and determination, and she proves over and over again throughout the story that she could take care of herself. It took me a while to warm up to the love interest in the story, Grant, which is kind of weird because I usually love the strong, brooding type. I love that Adelaide and Tamsin are in the story as well, and I actually can’t wait to read Tamsin’s story next!

Overall; I did have a few issues with Midnight Jewel, but I did enjoy reading the book, especially since it was from Mira’s perspective! The storyline wasn’t what I expected, but I did enjoy it, and I’m super excited to read Tamsin’s story next, which is currently untitled, but I’m hoping to see some information for soon!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #283 - Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
Say You'll Remember Me
by Katie McGarry
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373212378

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When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve. (Goodreads)

A new book by Katie McGarry?? YES, please!!
I never pass up on a book by Katie, and this one sounds really awesome.
AND, it's due to release on my birthday next year.
Best present EVER!! I can't wait to check it out.
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Thoughts: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight
(The Dark Artifices #1)
by Cassandra Clare
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Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 698
ISBN: 9781442468351
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
Source: Own

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In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Can I tell you how thrilled I am that I have FINALLY read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare? I seriously don’t know why it took me so long to read this book, as Cassandra Clare is an auto-buy author for me, and this is the first book of hers that I’ve not dropped everything I’m doing to read as quickly as possible. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for too long, and I was determined to finally read it. I’m SO glad that I did!!

The storyline for the book follows along the same lines as The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, though it was a new set of characters and a new journey for them all as well. But, while the story was new, it felt so familiar as well, and I really enjoyed being back in the Shadowhunter world again. Once I started the book, I was completely hooked, and I couldn’t focus on anything else until I finally finished it. And now, of course, I’m dying to start Lord of Shadows, though I’m trying to hold off so I can read a few of the other books on my TBR this month.

I really loved all the new characters in the story. Emma is quite a bad-ass Shadowhunter, and I love her strength and determination throughout the story. I really love Julian as well, though he has WAY more responsibilities than any teenager should have, but that made me appreciate him even more. The relationship between the two was interesting, especially considering they are parabatai, and I’m super curious to see where things are going to go for the two of them. Also, there are SO many secondary characters that I love in the story as well. AND I loved the cameos from the characters from the previous books as well! Those were perfection.

Overall; I feel like this review is just me gushing about how much I loved Lady Midnight, and yep, that’s pretty much all this is. Ha!! I’m so glad that I finally read the book, and I can’t wait to get started on Lord of Shadows, even though I know that will just make me pine away for The Queen of Air and Darkness, the third book in the series, which is not going to be released for a while. Sigh! I can’t wait!! If you love Cassandra Clare’s previous series and you’ve not yet read this book, DO IT NOW!! Then come back and tell me what you think. *grin*

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Thoughts: Coming up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Coming up for Air
(Hundred Oaks Series)
by Miranda Kenneally
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781492630111
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

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Available for Purchase:
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Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

This is a standalone novel. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was really excited to read Coming Up for Air, as the cover is super cute, and it sounded like a really quick, fun summer read! I’ve read one of Miranda Kenneally’s books in the past, and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to starting this one. I somehow didn’t realize that this book was part of a series, or that the book I previously read was the first book in the series, but I had no problem reading this book as a standalone, and I'm super curious to read the rest of the books in the series as well!

I really enjoyed the storyline for the book. I have only read a few books that have swimming in the storyline, and I always find it completely fascinating. (Even though I’m the least competitive person that I know, and swimming sounds super competitive.) It’s definitely a sport that I don’t know much about, so it was fun to read about. Going by the cover, I thought the book was set during the summertime, and I’m ALL about summer books at the moment, but it was set during the school year instead. That threw me for a moment, but didn’t really affect the story at all. This was a super quick read for me as well; I had it finished in no time!

There were a lot of characters in this story to like, including the main character, Maggie, who basically spends all her free time training in the pool, and her best friend, Levi, who also swims as well. The relationship between the two was super cute, and it was interesting to watch it grow and change over the course of the story. Both had really awesome friends and family members as well, and that’s something that I always love to read about.

Overall; As I mentioned above, Coming Up for Air was a really quick, fun read! I enjoyed both the characters and the storyline, and I’m definitely going to have to check out the other books in the series now to see what I missed out on by not reading them yet. It sounds like a fun series!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week in Review • Week 27

Happy Sunday morning to you, Bookworms!!
Believe it or not, I actually have something to update for this week,
even though I've been absent from the blog all week.
With everything going on, especially blog related stuff,
I really just needed a break to think about what I wanted to do.
I'm glad to have found some blogging mojo for this post!!

Here's what I was up to this week...

This week I finished two books, which isn't great, but it's better than no books, right? Haha! I read one review book this week, Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally. I didn't know when I started this book that it was part of a series, but it read just like any other book for me. I actually have read the first book in the series way back when, so I'm curious to read the rest of the series now.

I also FINALLY READ LADY MIDNIGHT!! Whoo hooo! I've been meaning to read this book every since it was released, and I finally read it. And, of course, I want nothing more than to dive into Lord of Shadows right away, but I'm hoping to squeeze in a few books before it, because it's a BEAST of a book at a little over 700 pages. :) I loved Lady Midnight though, and I especially loved being back in the Shadowhunter world!

I even managed to watch two movies this week as well, both I have seen before, but both I enjoyed rewatching anyways. Kingsman: The Secret Service is such a good movie, I absolutely can't wait for the sequel to come out later this year, and The Replacements is one of my most favorite movies, because, of course, Keanu Reeves. *grin*

My vacation officially starts in ONE WEEK, and I SO can't wait. I want nothing more than to have my toes in the sand and a drink in my hand. It's been a weird summer so far, and I just need a break to relax. :) It's so close, I can almost touch it!!

Also, I've thought a lot about the blog lately, wondering if I wanted to keep it up or not, and I've decided that I do. I love blogging, and giving up something that I've been doing for six years would be hard! So I'm going to try to fix the photo thing as I can, and though I know it won't be taken care of right away, I will get it all done eventually. That's a huge weight off my shoulders, so, Yay.

That's all for me this week, friends! I'm hoping to have a productive week this coming week, including a few blog reviews and one last Week in Review post before I go on vacation. Hopefully this coming week works out just the way I need it to. :)